The Smoking Gun

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The Smoking Gun TV Poster Image
Ribald celeb voyeurism with puppets; teens and up.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Pokes fun at celebrities and others. Sometimes borders on cruel. Shows people (good and bad) behaving at their worst.


Puppets sometimes hit, poke, or jump on other puppets to cause harm. One scene hints at prison rape.


Puppets sometimes simulate sex and dress scantily -- no genitals shown.


Generally tame language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some shows depict puppets drinking or smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this funny (to some), adult-oriented spoof involves puppets acting out scenes described in real legal documents, many of which are lewd or violent. For example, in one episode, several puppets dressed as strippers pole-dance in a sexually suggestive manner and then jump on a male puppet's genitals against his will. Having a laugh at another's expense is the emphasis of the show, and celebrities are the main target. Puppets are sometimes seen drinking, smoking, or having sex -- always in a comical way.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Like the Web site of the same name, THE SMOKING GUN exploits the hunger for celebrity gossip in a unique way: It focuses on the stories behind publicly available legal documents -- divorce decrees, arrest records, contract stipulations, etc. But the TV show has found a very special way to make legal documents more interesting: puppets. And so, for example, the tale of Richard Simmons' assault incident -- in which he allegedly slapped a man in an airport for making fun of him -- gets crass but hilarious treatment through puppetry. Celebrities aren't the only targets: One segment focused on a random fellow who was attacked by strippers at his bachelor party, rendering him unfit for his wedding-night obligations. The strippers settled out of court, and the man was awarded damages, which -- according to the show -- will go toward a second honeymoon.

Is it any good?

Teens with a crude sense of humor will love this show, and parents may get a kick out of it, too. But both should be aware that The Smoking Gun pushes a lot of limits (it's part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup for good reason). Some might see the inspection and exploitation of others' legal documents as an invasion of privacy, and certainly the Web site's collection of mug shots borders on cruel. But others will see the show, and the site, as a way to bring famous folks down to earth and take away some of their power over us.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about celebrity. Is it OK to pry into celebrities' private lives? A little? A lot? Where should we draw the line? What's appealing about finding out details about celebrities' lives? Should celebs' legal documents be available to the public just like everyone else's? What's the value of comedy in our society? What is the value of celebrity?

TV details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate